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Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Tuesday at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly

The agenda at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in Minneapolis on Tuesday focused on introducing many agenda items that will come to a vote later in the week - the ELCA budget, elections, funding for an HIV/AIDS strategy and the proposed social statement on human sexuality.

The assembly spent about 90 minutes in an open discussion (no votes) on "Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust," the proposed social statement. Again, I heard few new arguments, but, again, the discussion was full and respectful. A final vote on this document may come today. You can read it online at www.elca.org/faithfuljourney.

One important agenda item that did come to a vote on Tuesday was a new "Lutheran Malaria Initiative," the church's cooperative effort, working with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Lutheran World Relief and the United Nations Foundation, to end malaria in Africa by 2015.The effort will be called "NothingButNets" and will be a grass-roots campaign for $10 donations to provide treated bed nets for African families. You can read more at www.elca.org/malaria.

I was pleased to share lunch with Mark Ramseth, President of Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, and dinner with Roy & Betsy Riley (Roy is Bishop of the ELCA New Jersey Synod).

There is more online at www.elca.org/assembly, including live video of every assembly plenary (business) session.

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